Undercover Mystery Shopper Income


Today TaxMama® hears from Cassandra in the TaxQuips Forum, who really IS a Mystery Shopper. “I am a mystery shopper and work for 30+ different companies. To some, I give my Social Security number – to others my EIN. Do I need to report the income I earned for the companies I supplied my EIN to separately (as a business) than the income I earned under my social security number?”

Ask TaxMama

Dear Cassandra,

Is it fun being a mystery shopper? And do people spot you? I remember working for a movie theater where someone always seemed to know when the shopper was coming.

We get a reply from Rita Lewis, our EA in the CT and NY area. Rita says:

You will report all the income you make on your Schedule C of your Form 1040. You may list each company if you want to track them or just report the conbined income you make. Ask Turbo Tax how to do your data entry for the method you choose.

If your EIN was issued to you as an individual, sole proprietor, or single member LLC, then it all gets reported on your Form 1040. If your EIN was issued to a business entity, such as a partnership or corporation, then report income for that EIN on the partnership or corporation tax return.

TaxMama adds, you need to report all the income, including the reimbursements for your test purchases, if they add that to your 1099-MISC. Then, just deduct the purchases.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about interesting occupations and other tax and business issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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